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Keeping kids busy with a coconut.

Posted on: Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

“Nanny, what’s that coconut for?” asked my 4 year old granddaughter.
“Why, it’s for a rainy day of course.”
“But Nanny, it’s raining today.”
“Well then”, I said, “I guess we’ll just have to open it up.”

We then called to her 8 year old brother and her father to join us and we got busy.  Starting with YouTube we looked up directions for opening a fresh coconut.  We gathered the necessary tools, which consisted of a hammer and a screwdriver, and discussed safety measures (don’t stand close while Daddy is hammering).  Using the hammer and screwdriver, Dad punched two holes in the end of the coconut (through two of the three “dots”) and drained out the liquid, through a sieve, into a waiting bowl.  Next a trip to the driveway (yes -it was raining and we took the time to put on appropriate raingear) to open the coconut.  With a few well placed hits with the hammer the coconut broke into multiple pieces.

Returning to the kitchen we put together the next set of tools.  We needed a vegetable peeler and a grater.  We also needed a step stool so everyone could see what was going on.  Jobs were assigned according to age.  Dad peeled, Pop-Pop grated, our 4 year old guesses and gathered needed tools (based on the clue of initial consonant sound), and our 8 year old was making predictions:  What would the coconut juice taste like?  How would a piece of coconut taste?  Would it taste any different if you shred it?  How about drying it out in the oven?  Would that make it taste different?  What if we sprinkled some Splenda over it?  What if we soaked coconut in water to make “coconut water”?

After all the experimenting was done we finally, and deliciously, had to decide how to eat the coconut.  We eliminated baking a cake and settled on homemade french toast with shredded coconut topping and coconut juice water for a drink.

What a wonderful, and educational, way to spend over an hour with the kids.  And yes while we were inside keeping busy with our science project the sun came out.  As soon as we finished, the kids ran out to play and Nanny and Pop-Pop were left to clean up – and we loved it.  By the way, you don’t have to wait for a rainy day to have fun with a coconut.

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